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March 15th, 2024 | 06:00 CET

Altech Advanced Materials, Tesla, E.ON - Accelerators of the Future in Europe

  • Innovations
  • Technology
  • Batteries
  • renewableenergies
  • Electromobility
Photo credits: Tesla, Inc.

Germany's automotive industry is in a state of upheaval. With an annual turnover of EUR 411 billion, solutions are urgently needed to drive electrification forward. E.ON, as one of the largest utilities, is investing billions in European infrastructure for this purpose. The Company is also increasing its dividend. Heidelberg-based Altech Advanced Materials is launching stationary battery storage systems on the market at the beginning of April. It has also published the results of the current feasibility study for its second pillar: a special coating for silicon battery anodes that ensures greater power and longevity. These are exactly the sticking points that customers have been complaining about so far. Tesla also relies on silicon batteries in its models. This week, Elon Musk visited the German plant in Grünheide, and has some good news in store...

time to read: 7 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka
ISIN: ALTECH ADV.MAT. NA O.N. | DE000A31C3Y4 , TESLA INC. DL -_001 | US88160R1014 , E.ON SE NA O.N. | DE000ENAG999

Table of contents:

    Uwe Ahrens, Direktor, Altech Advanced Materials AG
    "[...] Silumina Anodes® is a ceramic-coated graphite/silicon anode composite material that we plan to produce in Schwarze Pumpe, Saxony. Here, we aim to supply manufacturers of batteries for e-cars with an application-ready drop-in technology that is low-cost, high-performance and safe. [...]" Uwe Ahrens, Direktor, Altech Advanced Materials AG

    Full interview


    Altech Advanced Materials: Innovative Silumina Anodes™ promise groundbreaking improvements in the electric vehicle market

    The automotive industry is one of the five strongest economic sectors in Germany, with an annual turnover of EUR 411 billion and employing around 786,000 people. The industry is in a state of flux, always on the lookout for pioneering technologies that improve both the performance of vehicles and the emissions they produce. Whether hybrid or electric battery drive, solutions are needed to remain competitive in the international market.

    A pioneer in improving the performance of existing electric batteries is the German company Altech Advanced Materials AG. The Heidelberg-based company has two main pillars. Firstly, it will launch stationary battery storage systems on the market from early April 2024. These energy storage systems will supply critical infrastructure such as hospitals, police, fire departments and water supply plants with valuable electricity in the event of blackouts. Altech Advanced Materials is well-financed.

    The second pillar is the development of a coating technology for silicon batteries such as those used by Tesla. Elon Musk opted for silicon instead of graphite in 2018 because he recognized that silicon is 10x more powerful, cheaper and charges faster. The requirements for batteries for electric vehicles are high: they have to be cost-effective, fast-charging and have a high energy density. This is the only way to convince buyers. One weak point is the reduction in performance after repeated charging, which occurs with conventional anode materials in both silicon and graphite-based electric batteries. The result is a loss of battery capacity.

    And it is precisely here that Altech Advanced Materials offers the solution: Silumina Anodes™ will solve this problem through their special coating technology, which enables better stability and longer battery life. Due to their efficient production and the scalability of the manufacturing process, Silumina Anodes™ could provide a cost-effective solution for the electric vehicle industry.

    With a successful battery production pilot plant in Lausitz, the Company's location is already secured. The promising test results of the Silumina Anodes™ indicate a timely commercial implementation of this technology, which represents a significant step forward for the electric vehicle industry. Interested investors can find all the details of the feasibility study (design, market study, pricing) here. The share is currently trading at EUR 6.45.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk visits Grünheide: Focus on plant expansion and Semi truck production, share price under pressure

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk spent four hours with his son X AE A-Xii at the factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg. Activists had recently paralyzed the power supply, but the employees were quickly able to limit the damage.
    Musk describes the attack as "extremely dumb". The attack resulted in repair costs of several hundred million euros for the site. The native South African greeted the staff gathered on site and assured them that he was there to support them. He also brought some news with him:

    On the one hand, he is sticking to Germany as a location. The plant is to be expanded to one million units in production in order to meet Europe's growing demand for electric vehicles and to hold its own against competitors who are turning away from combustion engines. To this end, the plant area will be expanded by 170 hectares. Tesla would be an ideal customer for Altech Advanced Materials for the Silumina Anodes™.

    On the other hand, the production facility is also intended for the construction of the so-called "Semi truck". Musk presented the Tesla Semi back in 2017. As reported by Handelsblatt, the electric truck is currently being developed in Nevada, USA, and produced in limited numbers. Musk wants to offer the truck at a price roughly equivalent to that of a diesel truck. Tesla is currently working on optimizing the design and production to achieve this goal. Musk has announced that full-scale production is expected to begin by the end of 2024. "I think it makes sense to produce the Semi truck in Europe at Giga Berlin as well," Musk said.

    Analysts are critical of the Company's current share price. Wells Fargo, for example, is calling for a "Sell" and sees Tesla at USD 125. Analyst Colin Langan from Wells Fargo rates Tesla shares at a sell-equivalent due to their supposed overpricing compared to other tech leaders. Langan criticizes that Tesla, with a P/E ratio of 58x, compares poorly to its peers at 31x. Despite the declining trend since the peak in July 2023, Tesla shares are currently 43% below this level and 59% below the all-time high of USD 414.50 in November 2021. Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have also lowered their price targets for Tesla since the beginning of February. In addition to the valuation, Wells Fargo also has concerns about profitability in the medium term. The share is currently trading at EUR 153.90.

    E.ON strengthens its position: Investments of EUR 42 billion for clean energy and network expansion

    E.ON, Europe's largest operator of energy networks, increased its five-year investment target to EUR 42 billion this week. The European continent needs a significant network expansion to transition to clean energy sources. According to the Company, the new investment plan for the period 2024-2028, compared to EUR 33 billion for 2023-2027, will result in adjusted EBITDA increasing to EUR 11 billion by 2028.

    A rise in decentralized renewable energy installations has prompted European energy companies to increase their spending on grid expansion to take advantage of fixed returns.

    "Across Europe, there are massive expansion plans for renewable plants that need to be connected to networks. This is why we are investing even more and even faster in our electricity grid infrastructure," says E.ON CFO Marc Spieker, who will take over from Chief Sales Officer Patrick Lammers in June. In his new role, Spieker will take over as Head of Customer Solutions. The new Chief Financial Officer will be Nadia Jakobi, currently CEO of the trading unit E.ON Energy Markets.

    Although E.ON's plan, with an implied annual capital expenditure of EUR 8.4 billion, is the most ambitious among German energy companies, it lags behind European heavyweights such as the Spanish group Iberdrola and the Italian Enel Group. These companies plan to spend an average of EUR 15.7 billion and EUR 11.9 billion per year, respectively.

    However, CEO Leonhard Birnbaum rejects the idea of a pan-European megacorporation for his utility company. Birnbaum sees no benefit in being distracted from the real task at hand, dismissing suggestions that the recent turmoil in the energy market could trigger consolidation in the sector. "Creating an equivalent similar to Airbus would only distract us from our core mission," explains Leonhard Birnbaum in an interview. Airbus is partly owned by the German, French and Spanish governments.

    Dividend hunters, take note: E.ON intends to increase its dividend for 2023 to EUR 0.53 per share, compared to EUR 0.51 per share in the previous year. This aligns with the estimate of EUR 0.53 from LSEG.

    Altech Advanced Materials is a promising company in the electric battery segment. The Silumina Anodes could bring breakthrough improvements to electric vehicles by increasing the performance and lifetime of batteries. With solid financing and promising test results for the anodes in R&D, the commercial implementation of this technology is getting closer. With its second mainstay, stationary battery storage systems, Altech will start commercialization at the beginning of April. Tesla is viewed critically by some analysts. Nevertheless, CEO Musk is sticking to his expansion plans, including the expansion of production capacity in Germany and the introduction of the Semi truck, an electric truck. Elon Musk's visit to Grünheide signals his commitment to the site and the expansion of the models there. E.ON is investing more in clean energy and network infrastructure to meet the growing demand for renewable energy. Although the investment plan is ambitious, E.ON is lagging behind some of its European competitors. However, CEO Leonhard Birnbaum emphasizes the importance of focusing on the Company's core objectives and rejects industry consolidation. The planned dividend increase indicates a solid financial performance. All three companies stand for an electrified future and are already global players.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author

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